Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Meet Mathilde! : Part 1

I know many writers who like to find pictures of people who look like their characters to inspire them as they write. I have never done this, myself. I always have very distinctive pictures in my own head and never seem to be able to find photos of someone who looks just the way I imagine my characters to be.

This was the case when I wrote the first draft of my new medieval romance, Dangerous Favor. I already knew the hero, Etienne, from his original appearance in Loyalty’s Web. He was a little bit older and wiser now, but I knew his personality and physical appearance by heart. When my new heroine, Mathilde de Riavelle, appeared on the scene, she was a sweet, flaxen-haired willow-maid, pretty but not beautiful, full of romantic dreams, overly sheltered from the world, but fiercely loving and loyal.

One day, while strolling through my house, I walked past a decorative pillow that I had bought in a museum shop years before Dangerous Favor ever existed in my mind. 



The pillow cover was a reproduction of a famous medieval tapestry called “Taste”, from the Lady and the Unicorn tapestry series. I glanced at the pillow and did a double-take. There, before my eyes, Mathilde de Riavelle was gazing back at me.

Now, if you look at the original tapestry (which you can do if you click here), you’ll find a lady with a high forehead, a longish nose, a little older, lovely but less whimsical than my Mathilde.

If there is a word to describe my Mathilde beyond “dreamy”, that would be it: “whimsical.” My pillow, as you can see, is not an exact reproduction of the original. It lacks some of the finer details of the tapestry. But this version is my Mathilde, her face filled with sweetness, the veil floating in the breeze representative of her long blonde hair imitating the veil’s gesture.



Nothing would make Mathilde happier, by the way, than to be immortalized in a tapestry. Stop by again next week and I’ll introduce you to Mathilde in action when I share with you Chapter 1 of Dangerous Favor here at JDP NEWS.

9 comments:

Heidi L. Murphy said...

I love the Unicorn Tapestries! Many a scroll of mine was taken from those lovely artifacts!
And so lovely to see Mathilde coming up!

Laura Fabiani said...

She sounds lovely! And I so get what you are saying about having a character in your head and "knowing" what she looks like.

Rachel Rossano said...

I love it when I discover someone or something that resembles a character in a book. :) It makes the story so much more real. :)

RaShelle Workman said...

Fun! Love the pillow and the tapestry. =D

Donna K. Weaver said...

What a thrill that must have given you to see the picture on your pillow. Makes me wonder if your memory had her hidden from you but helped you know what she should look like.

Donna McNeil Gonzales said...

What a lovely lass. Inspiration can come from the most unusual places. I have to drag characters kicking and screaming into the stories that dance in my head. It's getting easier the more I write.

kbrebes said...

Love it! Love her! Can't wait 'til next week to read your first chapter!!

Anonymous said...

So happy that she was on a cushion in your home. Would have been a bit awkward . . . say . . . if she were shopping in Walmart.
People don't like it when you exclaim wildly and charge towards them.
I have the restraining orders to prove it! :)

Diane said...

So happy that she was on a cushion in your home. Would have been a bit awkward . . . say . . . if she were shopping in Walmart.
People don't like it when you exclaim wildly and charge towards them.
I have the restraining orders to prove it! :)